When it comes to creating government polices the government likes to spout about economic growth and reform. This is where a piece of lesigstration is created to either create jobs, encourage spending or lead to a stronger Australia economy. When it comes to the ndis most people view it as welfare reform or socially the right thing to do. Neither view is correct, so lets look at the facts.
ndis reform and productivity increase
How does the National Disability Insurance Scheme impact the Australia Economy? You may of heard the phase 'the ndis is reform for all Australians', one of the primary reasons is employment and job creations is at the heart of the reform. Given the increase in the number of Australians being able to assess support for daily living, more jobs will be created.
One example of new jobs created under the ndis is the area of Assisted Technology. More people with disabilities are finding their Independence in the community is increase through technology. For participants to be able to access these devices and equipment, such as computerized communication devices, specialist in IT are needed.
The key agenda for ndis reform is to enable people with disabilities to access the wider community and participate in the local economy. This can occur through skills development, education, training (including life skills courses); employment, community work, sports and recreation, and arts and culture. If people living with disabilities and their families are out and about the are spending money and therefore contributing to the growth in the economy, which stimulates job growth.
One of the access issues for both participants and their family members has been access to employment. People living with disabilities (this includes family members) are more likely to be unemployed or underemployed putting strain on the welfare system. Until now family members of participants with profound disabilities have been unable to work, as they have been full time carers for their love ones. Families can now access before and after school support and day respite to allow members of the family to return to study or the workforce.
I like to refer to people with disabilities as the most under utilized resourced in the community. This occurs for a number of reasons.
- Community attitudes
- Not recognizing ability
- Putting people with disabilities into the same box
I have written much on the miscomceptions around disability and the struggles to dispel in gain beliefs on what it means to live with disability. So we have began to look at a small section of those living with disability in terms of employment. Family members of participants who are profoundly impaired. No one is expecting those in need of 24 hour care to go out and find work. For this group of individuals ndis is about increased opportunities for family members.
So we need to define both what is disability and what is not, because many people are labeled disable for the wrong reasons, and a general assumption that people with disabilities are unable to work. This comes from the welfare model of disability. Many people on a disability pension are medically disabled or unable to work. This level of disability is not impacted by the ndis reform.
Under the scheme participants are those individual who need some type of assistance with daily living tasks. This could be provided through an assistance dog, technology, software, early intervention, physio, support in group settings and individual support. Despite public perception very few people with disability need 24 hour support. So the first thing the ndis looks at is over a persons life time how can we support them to be more independent. So we are moving away from creating dependence on government resources to being independent of others.
In other words we are moving away from a model where medince defines disability to a social model of disability. Under the social model disability occurs as a result of a impairment in the normal function of an individual. The ndis only looks at a persons impairement to determine eligibablity. The ndis is not concerned with what someone can't do, but the thinks they can do and how ndis can asist the individual to participate in the community.
ndis explores ability not disability
It is hoped that some participants will move into being employed, self-employed or giving back to the community through volutarteeing. The presumption that disability blocks every aspect of ability to make a meaningful contribution is one that needs to be dismantled. I like to think I am a great illustration of this.
The general community (those who do not know me) assume because I sometimes use a wheelchair, I can not walk and because I have a communication disorder I have an intellectual disability. Even those who know I do not live with me family, I live in support accommodation. All of the assumptions of false, here we start to see misconceptions alone provide access issues.
Now you would think if anywhere the facts would be known it would be the disability sector. Wrong! I have worked in the sector for nearly 20 years (although in the main this has been unpaid) when I show-up for work 95% of staff confused me as a client. Where is the art teacher? Well, today I'm afraid I am it! Are you and your client joining the class or not?
I am the founder of Ignite Artist
We support artists with disabilities.
Let me tell you about myself, I am Debbie Chilton BA among my many achievements are a degree in behavioural science, poet, publish author, visual artist, Queensland Representative for Supported Art Studios, community leader and disability advocate. I live independently and share my home with one very spoiled cat. So what in my CV spells out I am incapable of working.
Let's add small business owner and designer. I am now designing everything from t-shirts, aprons, mugs and now tea pots. I am self-employed and my business is finally growing. Still not profit but I am now getting at least one sale a week. I am part of the Ipswich Women's Business Network and in addition to my giftware range, I regularly exhibit in a number of galleries. When you look at my artwork do can't not see my disability, only my abilities.
I am widely known for my skills as a print maker
Despite my CV I have never held paid employment. I have had short-term contract work, but most disability providers expect me to work unpaid even when I am the most qualified team member, such is the communities economic value of my skills. Don't get me wrong I love my work and obviously money is not my motivator. I am just one example of the many Australians living with disability who are underemployed and skills go unrecognized.
Fast forward to 2019 and I will have paid employment. I hope to be supporting other people with disabilities by sharing my skills and knowledge on the ndis, self-directing, selecting a support team, art, business skills and promoting my employer Hire Up. I am proof the the ndis works, in the way it was designed too.
I AM PROOF THE NDIS WORKS!
I employ workers who have never workers in the disability sector before; my business at least has achieved a turn over; and I am getting job offers.
I challenge anyone who does not see the National Disability Insurance Scheme as an economic reform. The fact that I will always be type cast. That is other people's issues. Under the ndis I am continuing to move forward in so many areas of my professional life.
Retro Diner A fun place to base my work life!
NDIS Economic Reform Facts
- The ndis is not a form of welfare and is completely separate to Centrelink.
- The ndis is independent of any other assistance a participant or family member receives.
- ndis participants may be on a government supplement or be looking for work or be employed. The employment status of the participant does not factor into the size of their ndis plan.
- Every Australian with a disability is not eligibly. Some participants will be on a disability pension but many won't be.
- Most people on the disability support person are not eligible for the ndis.
- To be eligible for the ndis you must have a life long disability that affects daily living function to a point that you need some form of assistance. This may be a mobility aid, technology, animal or a person or a support service. Only 460 000 Australian will need to access this type of support.
- Most participants are children of people who work or people who work themselves.